Elon Musk Teases Flight Upgrade for Tesla Roadster

The ambitious billionaire says adding rocket tech to his sports car is “just a matter of safety.”

Tesla Roadster
Zero to 100 km/h in 1.9 seconds not enough for you? The Tesla Roadster will also be able to "fly short hops."Elon Musk

It's impressive how much buzz Elon Musk can generate with a simple tweet. He recently offered the world the first look at the Tesla Roadster and caused his fans and followers to freak out with a simple description: "0 to 100 km/h in 1.9 sec." More than 123,000 retweets later, you'd think that would be enough excitement, but he wasn't done.

"Should clarify that this is the base model performance," he tweeted two days later. "There will be a special option package that takes it to the next level."

The next level is apparently flight. The man who recently said that the future of transportation is underground is once again tinkering with ideas to join the “flying car” movement, as he further hinted that the Tesla Roadster could be capable of zipping around the sky. At the very least, it will allow people to play leap frog over annoying traffic jams.

"Not saying the next gen Roadster special upgrade package will definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe… Certainly possible," he wrote. "Just a question of safety. Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities."

In April, Musk sang a different tune about flying cars at TED2017, where he unveiled the first 3D visualization of his Boring project's network of tunnels beneath Los Angeles, a concept that would alleviate "soul-destroying" traffic. With tunnels, he said, "you can go to any arbitrary number of tunnels, any number of levels" and that will solve the problem of congestion following us underground. As for the sky, well, flying cars could be really annoying.

“I'm in favor of flying things. Obviously, I do rockets, so I like things that fly,” he explained. “This is not some inherent bias against flying things, but there is a challenge with flying cars in that they'll be quite noisy, the wind force generated will be very high. Let's just say that if something's flying over your head, a whole bunch of flying cars going all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation.

“You don't think to yourself, ‘Well, I feel better about today.’ You're thinking, ‘Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?’ Things like that.”

Since then, however, Musk has had a change of heart, even imagining a world in which his SpaceX rockets take us from continent to continent in a matter of minutes.